- Modest budget hike aims to send reassuring message
- But China is building up its military capabilities
Yvonne Chiu is an assistant professor at The University of Hong Kong specializing in China's military and diplomacy. The views expressed here are solely hers.
Hong Kong (CNN)China's announcement of the smallest percentage increase to its military budget since 2010 -- around 7% (to approximately $148 billion) -- seems designed in part to project the image of being the sober, peaceful force in the Asia-Pacific sphere.